As with all of the events that we have organised, there was a mixture of nervous energy, anticipation and hope that everyone would have a good time - one of the main tenets of our fundraising has been for people to have a good time while putting their hands in their pockets, and I think we have managed to do this (certainly the latter, hopefully the former). However, I was extra nervous about the gig that we had organised last night as there was the speech that I felt I needed to do.
Although it's the second to last event (tomorrow's Lazeez evening - tickets still available - being the last) it was one of the first to be arranged. A combination of the function room at the Sunnybank and the band, The Syndicates, very kindly both being made available to us. Then, we were lucky enough to arrange the trip so that this gig was on the last weekend. Worked out perfectly - now we just needed the night to be a good one.
It's quite strange seeing the ideas for an event that have been planned for month taking physical form ~ the pie+peas were collected, the bar was opened, the band and then guests arrived - even Evan made an appearance. So, the two remaining things were for me to make my speech and then for the night to kick-off. I'm not really that comfortable speaking in public but I knew a few things that I wanted/needed to say and had rehearsed it in my head a thousand times, made some notes and run past the kids a couple of times. I'd imagined that they would be an easier audience but the feedback was "dont say 'erm' so much" (Maya) and "bit rubbish" (Evan).... In the end, Evan was on very good form and asked if he could come and do the speech with me. So, armed with Evan on one side, and Loup on the other, I started. It's amazing how easy it was to hide behind the mic and I think it went ok. I even went "off script" and kissed the Mrs.... IN PUBLIC (anyone who knows me will confirm that is not quite typical behaviour on my part!) and before I knew it, I was done and the band were on.
I'd only spoke to Sharron, the band's manager before, and not met any of the guys, but they were great - really nice lads (not very rock'n'roll to say that, but....) and were really accommodating with the stuff we needed help with (e.g drum roll) and they were even good sports when Jamie got hold of the mic!. The gig was simply brilliant - really good versions and a couple of their own compositions (Let me go) - which didnt seem out of place against the cover versions they did. Got people up dancing (well, not me - I'd got up on stage once already, and public-speaking and dancing on the same night would be far too much to contemplate) and everyone said how impressed they were with them. Certainly hope to get to see them again once we get back. Would like to wish them good luck in the Live and Unsigned competition.
So that was it, very much an "end of term" feeling - everyone was having a great time, and wishing us well - and we know that this is really only the start of Evan's Big Journey. I had a few more beers and a couple of shots and then we staggered home knowing that a mighty hangover was coming our way - but well worth it....